RVing in Colorado

This will be the second summer in a row that we won’t be spending any time in Colorado… sigh! I love Colorado and called it home for over twenty years. Once we sold our Colorado home and moved into the RV full-time, we still continued to spend our summers meandering around the state, that is, up until last year.

Cherry Creek, Colorado

The RV has allowed us to explore and see parts of Colorado that we never had the opportunity to experience while living in our sticks and bricks house. And while we aren’t returning to Colorado this summer by choice, that doesn’t mean a part of me isn’t missing it.

We arrived at our summer ‘home’ in Prescott, Arizona on the 1st of May and were quickly reminded how weather in the high country likes to surprise us with one last winter storm before giving way to spring.

Our home for the summer in Prescott Valley, Arizona – photo taken May 2nd ūüôĄ

Our first full day in Prescott Valley brought inclement weather in the form of rain, thunder, hail and sleet. Al and I chuckled as the loud sound of hail pummeling the roof of the RV made having a conversation impossible. After five minutes, the hail stopped leaving in its wake a thin layer of white covering the landscape which fortunately melted quickly. And also fortunate, the hail was small in size and caused no damage.

This spring storm reminded me of Colorado and made me smile as fond memories flooded my mind. With that said, I thought I’d do a little reminiscing by sharing with you one of my favorite mountain towns in Colorado. Here’s a blog post I wrote a while back….

Everyone’s Favorite Mountain Town

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like Telluride, Colorado.  If I had to recommend one Colorado mountain town to visit, it would definitely be Telluride.  There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, how could anyone resist a place where there’s usually a herd of elk in a meadow on the edge of town welcoming visitors to the area?

Telluride, Colorado

We’ve had the pleasure of visiting this charming mountain town a few times over the past few years and each visit was truly a joy.  First off, Telluride is beautiful.  I mean, drop dead gorgeous. It sits in a canyon surrounded by steep forested mountains and cliffs along with the stunning Bridal Veil Falls seen at the far end of the canyon.

Telluride was founded in 1878 as a mining settlement.  By the 1970’s, the extensive mining in the area was replaced by ski tourism.  By the mid 1990’s, Colorado’s best kept secret was discovered by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and Oliver Stone.

Although Telluride is well-known for outstanding ski slopes, the summer months have actually become more popular with tourists as the town hosts a variety of festivals, including film festivals and endurance events all summer long.  The outdoor recreation is fantastic and even offers extreme hiking: Via Ferrata.

Via Ferrata

Via Ferrate in Telluride. Photo courtesy of Wiki

Telluride, CO

Newer home styles seem to blend in well with the surroundings.

I love the architecture in Telluride. Each structure is one of a kind. There’s a beautiful blend of old and new which captivates my attention and appeals to my taste. There‚Äôs a hiking trail that allows one to wander from town all the way out toward Bridal Veil Falls allowing a visitor to admire the houses along the way …. each unique and attractive.

Telluride, CO
I was in love with these houses – restored 1800’s

Trivia:  The famous bank robber, Butch Cassidy, committed his first recorded major crime in Telluride by robbing the San Miguel Valley Bank in 1889 and exiting the bank with over $24,000.

Telluride, Colorado

This charming Rocky Mountain town located in southwestern Colorado is most definitely worth a visit and goes to the top of my favorites list.  The town boasts a population of less than 3,000 and sits at an elevation of 8,750 feet.

Bridal Veil Falls

At the base of Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls in the far distance

We‚Äôve enjoyed hikes to Bridal Veil Falls, shopped the Friday morning Farmer‚Äôs Market, and taken the¬†free Gondola ride – a bonus not to be missed. We‚Äôve¬†taken a back country 4√ó4 road¬†to get to Telluride which I call the ‘back way’.¬† We‚Äôve eaten at several tasty restaurants,¬†met fellow bloggers for a brew,¬†and generally savored the vibe and beauty that is quintessential Telluride.

Where to eat in Telluride

We’ve eaten at several restaurants throughout town but our personal favorites are eating at the local farmers market or Smuggler’s Brewery. At¬†Smuggler’s Brew Pub,¬†they serve up a great burger along with some tasty brews. Al always orders a beer called “Debauchery“. With its 10% alcohol content, it’s served in a brandy sniffer in lieu of the normal beer glass. With Debauchery’s high alcohol content combined with Telluride’s near 9,000 foot elevation, one drink is usually hubby’s limit, especially if I’ve planned lots of walking afterwards ūüėĄ

Telluride, Colorado

Camping near Telluride

Whenever we’ve visited Telluride, we’ve always camped at Ridgway State Park, about an hours drive away.  The park offers sites accommodating tents and large RV’s alike.  Ridgway State Park is one of our favorite campgrounds in western Colorado.

Tee PeeMuch closer to Telluride is a delightful National Forest Campground;  Sunshine Campground.  The campground is super close to Mountain Village where one can park and catch the free gondola taking you up and over the mountain into Telluride.

We would love to stay at the Sunshine Campground due to its stunning views and near proximity to Telluride, but unfortunately, we’d barely¬†fit into a couple of sites and the turning radius to navigate into and around this campground is tighter than our comfort level allows, but this campground is perfect for smaller RV’s.

Further down the road is the¬†Matterhorn Campground, also a National Forest Campground, and this place can accommodate just about anyone, but finding an available site might prove to be difficult. It’s a very popular place.

 For those traveling with tents, vans, or small RV’s,     the perfect place to camp to really immerse oneself     into the Telluride lifestyle is the Telluride Town Park   Campground.  Nestled in a grove of pine trees along   a   creek, it’s within walking distance to festival   venues,   restaurants, and shops.  Obviously where   there are   trees, there are low branches and tight   turning   radius’.  Thus, not an option for us.  Once   again, small   RV’s have the advantage.

Note; during festivals this campground is jam-packed making it difficult for even a Honda Civic to navigate.

Lodging in Telluride

And when it comes to other types of lodging, should camping not be your thing, Telluride has it all.  Check out this guide for more information on planning your visit to Telluride, one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns, and enjoy your own Rocky Mountain getaway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

With so much natural beauty along with an abundance of things to see and do, it’s no wonder Telluride could easily be referred to as ‘everyone’s favorite mountain town‘.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away – Maya Angelou

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A Tourist Destination

While February found us exploring southern Arizona, March had us meandering around the Phoenix valley.  Phoenix, Arizona, has become a regular stomping ground for hubby and me ever since our son moved here five years ago.

Superstitions
approaching the Superstition Mountains located on the far southeast side of the valley

Phoenix AZOver the past five years, Al and I have taken advantage of our visits by exploring all corners of picturesque Maricopa County.¬† As an RV’er, we’ve found this area to be one of the most RV friendliest of places giving us oodles of¬†parking options.

Not into RVing?¬† That’s ok as the lodging options are endless in that arena as well; from quaint Bed & Breakfast’s to Mega Resorts and everything in between.

Superstition Mountains
Spring in the desert

Maricopa County wants you to visit.¬† It’s a tourist destination.¬† Whether you spend a long weekend or spend the entire winter, all visitors are greeted with open arms and offered amenities for just about anyone’s personal interests and taste.¬† And with nine months of beautiful weather and plenty of sunshine, it’s no wonder northerners flock here during the winter months.

Speaking from experience; June, July, and August can be uncomfortably hot making it near impossible to engage in any outdoor activities.  This is the desert after all.

Arizona hiking trails
hiking near Phoenix during spring time

Spring TrainingThere’s no shortage of beautiful Golf Courses, wonderful hiking trails, or delicious restaurants.¬† Then there’s the¬†various festivals, music venues, and sporting events.¬† This past February, Phoenix even hosted the Super Bowl.

Folks that enjoy baseball usually plan a vacation to Arizona in March to take in a Spring Training game.  The Cactus League is big business around here.

With only so many hours in a day,¬†hubby and I picked our priorities for the month of March.¬† Hiking, socializing, and festivals¬†seem to top our agenda.¬† Since I’ve already posted on some of the hiking we’ve done around Phoenix, I’ll focus on the socializing today.

bloggers
We enjoy happy hour over at Mike and Linda’s of “Bear Tracks Blog”. Mike fixes cocktails while I prepare nachos.

We reconnected with¬†some old friends and met new ones along the way.¬†¬†New friendships were forged with fellow bloggers.¬† As bloggers following each other on the internet,¬†we seem to know a lot about one another but¬†rarely meet in person.¬† It’s always an entertaining time though when we do connect face to face.

Since Phoenix is such a great place to live AND visit, it’s not uncommon for¬†one to live here full-time, part-time (like me), or sometime meaning there’s always another blogger in the vicinity.¬† So if you visit Phoenix, be sure¬†to put it out on your blog – if you’re into socializing that is.¬† You never know who will reach out to you and say, “Hey, I’m in the area.¬† Interested in meeting?”

Phoenix ArizonaThat said, it’s easy for two strangers to quickly become new friends.

A one hour coffee date turned into a three-hour chat fest with Nancy over at Two Trails One Road.  We could have easily moved from coffee onto cocktails as we got to know one another beyond our blogs, but alas obligations had us bidding farewell to each other.

We were so engrossed in our visit, that neither one of us remembered to take a photo.  Oh well next time, as I am sure there will be a next time.

Another morning I headed off to a Fine Arts Festival in the town of Carefree; a community on the far north side of the Phoenix valley.  This was my second time attending a festival in this lovely community.  The first time was with fellow blogger LuAnn and involved chocolate.

Carefree Festivals
Al and Mary from Tales from the Backroad
art festivals
Me and Mary in front of her stunning photography

No chocolate involved this time, but meeting this artistic couple was right up there.  Mary and Al are a couple of VERY talented people.

Mary writes a blog over at Tales from the Backroad.

Not only was it great meeting Mary and Al, I loved seeing their art work.  Did I already mention how incredibly talented these two are?  Impressive!  I hope to run into them boondocking in the desert next season.

The communities of Carefree, Cave Creek, and old town Scottsdale are known for their art galleries, unique one of a kind shopping venues, art walks, and festivals.¬† It almost makes me want a house again.¬† I’ve always appreciated the arts and find people’s talents almost mind-boggling.¬† I’m amazed by the¬†vision of an artist and awed by the wonderful sculptures and paintings one creates.

If fine art isn’t your thing, stay tuned for a little rough and tumble type of Expo we attended.¬† No arts or crafts involved…. it’s a guy thing!arts and crafts festivalsI’ve managed to do a bunch of¬†previous posts on Phoenix, Arizona.¬† For another¬†post with¬†some¬†different info,¬†click here.¬† AND if you’d like to¬†meet a lot of bloggers all in one place, consider attending the WordPress Event being held in Phoenix on April 18th.¬† Click here for more info on Press Publish.

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The Hill Country

My how plans can change!¬† I guess that‚Äôs one of the beauties of having one‚Äôs home in tow, the freedom to wonder on a whim;¬†the freedom to change plans and directions as needed or rather as wanted; the freedom to move when you don’t like the weather.Fredericksburg

A.D.D.There are days I feel I have about as much attention span as the dog featured on the cartoon movie Up‚Ķ.. ‚Äúsquirrel‚ÄĚ.¬† However, instead of returning to the conversation, I‚Äôm off and running.¬† I‚Äôll admit, it‚Äôs kind of fun being distracted and so noncommittal.

After the month of January in Rockport, we thought we’d spend the month of February exploring parts of San Antonio, Austin, and Fredericksburg. We settled into a gorgeous campsite at the Cranes Mill Park campground at Canyon Lake allowing us to easily explore San Antonio and the surrounding area, but weather and an appointment had us rearranging our February schedule.Canyon Lake

We had a wonderful time exploring San Antonio’s downtown: The Alamo and River Walk are sights not to be missed.¬† We would’ve loved to have experienced even more of this great city but weather and time were not on our side.

Projected inclement weather and an appointment in Phoenix had us on the road sooner than planned.  We had to prioritize our must see list and seeing the town of Fredericksburg was high on that list. We originally had the intention of spending several days in Fredericksburg, but since Mother Nature was not in a kind mood we’ll settle for a day trip.

LuckenbachThank you to all who commented or sent emails to me on things to see and do in the area.  Your recommendations were wonderful and we tried to take in as many sights as possible. What we didn’t have time for on this trip, we will definitely make time for on a future visit.

It’s a Wednesday morning and we get an early morning start for our 65 mile (105 Km) trek through the Texas hill country.¬† We take a series of country roads with a side stop at the small town of Luckenback, Texas.

Fredericksburg TexasLuckenbach is an out-of-the-way hill country¬†place preserving a small piece of Texas history.¬† We pull up to the post office / general store / saloon (talk about multi-tasking) and are greeted by free roaming chickens.¬† We step inside the building and it’s like stepping back in time.dance hall

10 acres of rolling hill country surrounded by large oak trees, a couple of creeks, a dance hall, store, and beer joint is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a festival; chili cook offs, a mud dauber festival, music fests, the annual Hug-in around Valentine’s Day are just a sampling of fun things to experience here in Luckenbach.

Waylan Jennings even wrote a song about going to Luckenbach to escape the rat race of city life and Willie Nelson has held a¬†couple of¬†4th of July picnics here.¬† Since it’s a blustery winter morning, nothing much was happening except for a nice warm fire in the pot belly stove for Al, me and the 2 ladies working to stand near and chat while warming our hands.

Fun stop indeed, but Al and I¬†were getting hungry.¬† We didn’t have any breakfast before heading out that morning and thus continued the trek to Fredricksburg.¬† It doesn’t take us long before we find the highly recommended “Old German Bakery” and indulge in some yummy pastries and coffee.¬† It did not disappoint and we left with a box filled with more delectable treats to take home and enjoy.Fredericksburg

We¬†explore¬†Main Street before heading over to the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park checking out RV Parks along the way.¬† The municipal park offers RV parking as well as the Fredericksburg RV Resort and the Oakwood RV Resort.¬† All three look like they would work nicely for¬†a future visit.¬† There is also a KOA Campground on the outskirts of town that I’m sure would also work.Fredericksburg

And then of course we have a little shopping to take in.¬† I’m always on the lookout for unique gifts for loved ones.¬† “Honey, do we have room……. ”

With that tidbit of business out of the way, we head on over to the¬†Admiral Nimitz Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War.¬† The museum honors the eight million Americans who served in World War II’s Pacific Rim against Japan.¬† Among those who served was a Fredericksburg native; Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.museums in FredericksburgWar museum

Der LindenbaumUnfortunately time was not our friend that day and our museum tour was somewhat abbreviated and cut short by our growling stomachs and a quest to take in as many sights as possible.

We make note that the museum admittance is good for 48 hours, allowing guests to take their time visiting this special tribute.  We contemplate returning after lunch.

Fredericksburg has a strong German heritage and therefore German food is usually the popular choice with visitors.¬† Al and I consider lunch at Der Lindenbaum, another highly recommended restaurant, but for some reason we just weren’t in the mood for German food.

That morning¬†while driving up and down Main Street getting a feel for this quaint hill country town, Al noticed a place at the far west end of¬†Fredericksburg called Catfish Haven.FredericksburgIt appears Catfish Haven is a restaurant frequented by locals.¬† As¬†patrons entered, the staff would routinely welcome guests by name as well as most of the diners all knew each other…..typical small town joint that we always get a kick out of.¬† And the food was delicious.¬† Yes, we had good ole fashioned fried catfish with a side of tater totes and hush puppies…..yum-mee!¬† We’ll start that cleanse next week….LOL.

Next up, we visit the LBJ Ranch…..Fredericksburg